Tuesday, 04 December 2018 17:40

Novateca Program celebrates its Success in modernizing the Moldova Public Library System

On November 27, the Novateca program, in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research and together with its beneficiaries and key partners, organized its close-out event to celebrate the successes in modernizing the Moldovan public library network and system over the past seven years.

The event gathered over 300 librarians, representatives of central and local public authorities, partners and library supporters, provided a platform for informal discussions and highlighted the most innovative and valuable initiatives undertaken by public libraries, their impact on the active development of local communities across Moldova, and the role of the new Library law in ensuring a continuous sustainable and modern development of public libraries.

“The main impact of the Novateca program is the change we are witnessing in the librarian community and the investment in their development,” mentioned Igor Sarov, General State Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research. “The National Library, National Children’s Library, Chisinau Municipal Library and Regional Centers for Professional Excellence that have greatly benefited from the Novateca support will continue providing ongoing professional development opportunities for librarians, and keep the energy and spirit cultivated by Novateca”.

The four thematic zones at the event—representing Leadership, IT & Innovation, Impact and Professional Development—featured library services and interactive workshops addressing digital inclusion, fabrication, robotics and coding, non-formal education, media literacy, data analysis and interactive visualization, e-services, and public speaking. The enthusiastic facilitation of these activities by program beneficiaries underscored the libraries’ readiness to maintain the path of modernization.

“Now, people from rural areas easily communicate with their families abroad, children learn how to code robots at library roboclubs, citizens from any locality access electronic public services with no need to travel to the raion center or neighbor city, and everyone can benefit from the opportunities provided by the three FabLabs opened in libraries,” said Karen Hilliard, USAID Moldova Mission Director. “All these programs and services offered by libraries have improved the quality of life of Moldovan people, and librarians have indeed become community leaders. Now, as the Novateca program reaches its end, I hope the Moldovan Government will continue investing in the development of public libraries”.

To ensure the library modernization process continues to advance, a key element of the event was projecting the program’s vision and efforts into the future. Extra emphasis was placed on the New Law on Libraries, and the commitment of central and local public authorities, librarians and key partners to further support library activities, services, partnerships and professional development opportunities.

At the closure of the emotional event, key beneficiaries and partners—including librarians, local and central public authorities, the eGovernment Agency, Moldtelecom, and others—offered their takeaways from Novateca, and thoughts on the future. President of the Librarians’ Association of Moldova Mariana Harjevschi noted: “We strongly believe that the successes and best practices obtained during the Novateca program, including professional development, modern approaches to non-formal education, migration from traditional to online services, events supporting Advocacy initiatives and, of course, the innovative spirit cultivated by the program will continue to be part of the Association's agenda”.

Eugenia Bejan, Secretary of the National Librarianship Council, underscored the vision of Novateca and the new law that the program helped develop. “At the 2018 Next Library Conference in Berlin the Moldovan law was recognized as one of the most progressive laws on libraries in Europe. Why? Because it includes all the elements of a modern library. Because this law is not only about libraries, is not only about librarians, but is a law developed from the perspective of community members, a law that belongs to library users, to Moldovan people who have the right to benefit from everything a modern library can offer.”

The event highlighted once again that after seven years of modernization and investment in technology equipment and capacity building, the 1082 public libraries included in the Novateca network have become vibrant community centers offering access to resources, technology, and opportunities for learning and exchange that can bring positive change to the people they serve. Since Novateca’s launch, more than 1500 librarians have benefited from professional development opportunities across the country resulting in 1400 modern library programs addressing the needs of over 1 million citizens.

Bidding farewell to the program and its partners, Novateca’s program director of seven years, Evan Tracz offered: “It was truly a pleasure and honor for the whole IREX/Novateca team to witness the energy, creativity, and enthusiasm librarians brought to their work, and the impact they brought to their villages, towns and cities over the life of the program. The future looks bright for the public library network of Moldova!”


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Email: office@novateca.md